Show Recap: A$AP Mob brings out Kendrick Lamar, E-40, Too Short
Words and Pictures: Kevin Lee / October 24, 2012
So in the last week, hip-hop was introduced to The Next Big Thing in Kendrick Lamar and his newly released major label debut, good kid m.A.A.d city, ravely reviewed by audiences and critics. Ready for The Next Big Thing, part 2? A\$AP Rocky made the point that he is ready for his turn when LongLiveA\$AP is released, at least to Oakland, California, where the LongLiveA\$AP tour landed Wednesday night. And to support this unsaid but obvious claim, he got some vital cosigns from local legends E-40 and Too Short (the dolla sign godfather himself) in the form of a surprise appearance in the middle of his set at the Fox Theater Oakland. And if Kendrick has some status to rub off on someone, he was happy to do so with Rocky as he himself also was a surprise appearance in the show, happy to share the shine.
With a warzone stage set and making an entrance dressed with a flak jacket and balaclava, A\$AP assimilates a 60's era Vietnam-looking, Apocalypse Now-ish motif—another style assimilated into his repetoire (Rocky samples fashions and styles like producers sample records)—Rocky let it be known that his battles was not to glorify the military but to show that he's a fighter with a cause, naming racism and social injustice as targets. But he's not one for making confrontation the whole way though the show, his brand of hip-hop is squarely on the party and bullshit model that is the very backbone of the genre.
Not to be ignored are the wily Danny Brown and the stoic-yet-phrenetic ScHoolBoy Q, both of which opened the set and both of whom also made their way onto A\$AP's set, performing together on songs they've recorded together (of which, they have many). ScHoolboy Q was actually the man responsible for making his Black Hippy crewmate's presence in the theater known, as he starts riffing on the first few bars of A.D.H.D. to presage Kendrick's appearance on stage, where he completed the rest of the song.